The Australian federal election is on

How long ago was it that Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd for the Prime Ministership? It’s not too long yet the political landscape is set to be in for a rough ride as we head towards the 2010 federal election.

Protection of the environment remains a significant issue in the upcoming Australian federal election

Yesterday, Prime Minister Gillard announced that the federal election will be held on 21 August – five weeks from now.

It’s been a rocky few months in federal politics and the next month is not going to see any let up. Who will win is anyone’s guess. Most pundits are predicting a balance of power in the Senate going to the Greens, but for the House of Representatives, it appears to some voters a race to the bottom when it comes to asylum seekers arriving from places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Disconcerting to hear comments in the press that rail against the most vulnerable people on the planet, refugees from war-torn countries. Comments about the asylum seekers coming to Australia include this one:  ‘it is not about the processing of the people or where they do it; it is about dealing with the massive influx of foreign people to our country’.

There is no massive influx. The number of asylum seekers is but a mere blip on the radar of ‘foreign people’ coming to Australia. Furthermore, ninety percent or more prove to be genuine refugees and therefore in need of asylum. The phoney debate about asylum seekers is more about pandering to xenophobia and both Labor and Liberal are doing nothing to address the depressing level of fear and loathing in the country.

The success of many refugees who have made Australia their home seems to count for little. They’ve contributed enormously to our rich, diverse lifestyle and to our strong economy.

Another comment from a punter was that all governments mismanage public funds. The Rudd Federal Government kept Australia out of a recession when the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2007. We were the only OECD country to escape. As some comic genius ironically pointed out in one column, ‘the Rudd Government failed to get Australian fully involved in the GFC. Damn!’.

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